Write an essay where you tell us what test preparation practices work best for you and why.

As a high school student, I thought that I had the whole test-taking thing down. I would read over my notes once or twice, call it a day and I was successful that way. However, now that I am in college, it has done more than show me that a quick read over notes does not and will not work anymore if I want to be successful. From my several college exams, I have finally learned some test preparation practices that work for me with the first being: take tests step by step. College exams tend to have a ton of content that can easily get overwhelming, so the most important preparation technique for me is to look through my notes and any study guides/ practice exams that are available. I will break them down and see exactly what I know and what I need more practice with. I will then make a new study guide for myself that includes all key points the way that I understand them and go through the information point by point. Another crucial technique I use is the beauty of a planner. When I know I have a test coming up, I will see what I have to do that week and plan out my days, ensuring that I have time to study while making sure everything else gets done. This also forces me to avoid cramming last minute because planning out my week gives me time throughout the course of multiple days to study. In addition to those two things, I also try my best to get healthy amounts of sleep and stay hydrated prior to the exam day. Every time I have been exhausted while taking an exam, I have performed worse than usual almost every time. Lack of sleep is the best way to mess with the functionality of your brain and it's ability to remember information during a test. Similarly, being dehydrated in general makes me lethargic and gives me headaches- which lessens my motivation. I think staying hydrated is so important as it improves my ability to focus and be alert. I am still developing new practices to help me with my test preparation, but the ones I have developed this far work great!

Skylar from Arizona
College Junior
University of Arizona